Faux Shadows – Quick & Dirty Tutorial

SL-Stock Image Background-_003 & Faking It FINAL

This is a very quick tutorial I have cobbled together for those using stock images who want enhance their photos.  My method isn’t perfect, many imperfections can be seen where I didn’t finish off this or that, but if it weren’t for a before and after shot, your eyes would probably accept the final image. More advanced photo editors will spot areas that needed to be cleaned up and adjusted more.  But this is a start in the right direction for you to play around with your photos more and what you might do.

Faking It Quick & Dirty tips

I started out with a stock image I took earlier today on location.  I took a photo from another blog post of myself, prior to editing, and very, very roughly cut myself out.  Had I taken a specific shot for this tutorial and a blog post on it, I would have green screened, or taken more effort to emulate some of the tones of the lighting used in the stock image. But that’s not always neccessary, I just like to cut out the middle man as much as possible and do most of it inworld.  I made a copy of my stock image, and cut out the upper right hand corner’s leaves all the way to the tree itself.  I then removed much of the sky between the leaves as quickly as I could, and then enlarged it so it would take up my entire avatar.  I then made two copies, I played with the transparency, and multiplied them over my avatar.  I had to reduce the brightness of my avatar as it stuck out like a sore thumb, while to my eye I can tell the avatar was not part of the shot, I still need to keep it a bit brighter as I would be blogging the outfit, and it needs to be seen.  I could reduce the brightness much more to make it blend in and it becomes nearly a different photo. When doing this, keep in mind where your lighting is in your stock image and how it would effect your avatar when you take the avatar photo.  Try to mimic the same lighting in your studio.

Overlays

Always keep in mind what you want to show.  Don’t be afraid to cut out, or use overlay’s creatively.  For stock images, you can always go out on location and take your own, or use stock images from the Second Life Stock Images flickr group.  I have also prepared another image using some overlays from Insight Designs to show some effects.  I used, if I recall correctly, at least 2 0r 3 overlays from Insight Designs, above.  Here’s a link to the earlier blog post for that image, done completely different with no overlays. Here’s a link to another quick tutorial on using stock images and playing with brightness, and contrast in a couple of programs.  If you use any stock images from the group, please leave a note and a link on the stock image you used, so we can see what you did with it!  Oh, and if you want details on the first outfit, see the earlier blog post on it here.  If you have more tips, tricks, and links to more tutorials people might like, please leave a comment to share them.  I will be checking back regularly to moderate them so they post.

Tempest

Tempest

I have been slowly accessorizing and playing with different tops for this outfit for weeks, trying out different boots, hair, tops.  I finally settled on J’s latest release of their Cowgirl Boots2.  I love these boots in this red, but I snagged the fat pack.  These are classics!  The fringe is flexi, and has great movement.  I’m wearing the latest from Tres Blah, this lovely peasant top, with embroidery.  If you like it it’s also available as a dress at the store.  By chance I was already planning this outfit with Tres Blah’s denim cut offs, which are layer only, and I like that about this style.  My skin is by Felicity Blumenthal, made specially for Another Fundraiser II called Ginger Skin.  Only $50L with 100% proceeds going to Red Cross (for Japan).  My purse is from Addict and also benefits Japan, with proceeds going to no kill animal shelters in Japan.  The Fur Japan event started last night, and is jam-packed with items!  I picked up three great houses there. My hair, Tempest, is from Exile, and I am in love with the length, and soft flex.  My jewelry is from Mood, called Bandara, in silver with turquoise which match my turquoise eyes from Amacci.

Hair: Exile – Tempest – Chocolate
Lashes: Glow Studios – Like Natural – Like Natural
Eyes: Amacci – Real Eyes – Turquoise
Skin: Felicity’s Ginger Skin [Another Fundraiser II]
Jewelry:  Mood – Bandara – Turquoise
Shirt:  Tres Blah – Viento Peasant Blouse
Shorts:  Tres Blah – Denim Cutoff Shorts (light)
Manicure: Reale – Manicure – Red – (Gift – Free Manicure)
Purse: Addict – Day Tripper Bag/Ocean Ave [Fur Japan]
Boots: J’s – Fringe Cowgirl Boots2
Poses: Glitterati
Posestand/Studio: VR Studio by VR Foundry

I discovered these post processing effects in the Singularity viewer, and was curious to see the effect inworld.  Sometimes you just want to cut the post processing time down, or take snapshot.  This is a great, and I hope they further develop it.  I would like to see the Gaussian Blur effect lightened, and think it would be great to incorporate shadow/highlighted borders too. To access them 1. log into Singularity, 2. on your top tool bar World – Environment Settings – Post Process Effects.  I have made photos demonstrating each of the effects.  Color Filter let you play further with Gamma, and Brightness. I loved being able to change the Saturation while retaining any windlight settings I have on.  Contrast is really nice addition as well.  The Gaussian Blur is great in thought but the effect even at level 1 on the slider is too strong for portraits.  Night vision is way cool!  I like that you can also create an effect, and save it.  It’s really easy to use. To see the effects, click the Enable box, play with the sliders.  The tabs stack so if you want one more than one tabs setting, leave enable on. Check out the photos.

 

Singularity Post Processing Effects

Tutorial:
Skin: – eStyle – Diamond X5 – 20 Tan Cleavage
Scene: Belle Belle – La Roulotte
Poses: Glitterati
Posestand/Studio: VR Studio by VR Foundry

Another Fundraiser II

Three years ago, Eloh Eliot of Another Shop caused a grid wise stir when she released full perm skins.  Her reasoning was simple…to see what would happen.  Lots happened!  Out of her generosity, many people had access to layered psd’s.  Psd is a file extension name for Photoshop, meaning there is more than one item inside the file, on a layer.  These layers were lashes, eye-makeup, lips, shading, highlighting, all the elements that come together to create a skin.  For many people this was the first time they were able to see the process.  It was an informative tool, as well as resource.

Seizing this opportunity, and hoping to cement the foundations for proper use of this gift, Another Fundraiser was born.  Second Life residents were encouraged to create modded/modified skins.  The response was overwhelming.  In just a few short day, there were tons of skins already set out awaiting the opening. Residents were consuming tutorials as fast as they could to participate.  Everyone contributed to their skill level at the time, and everyone learned something.  Over the years, people who attempted to make some new makeups for this event, have gone on to show their skills with more makeup, more heavily modded skins, and eventually a fully developed skin with no traces of the old Eloh they started out with. A fresh new skin, fully their own.  Eloh Eliot’s risk, paid off in many people ‘leveling up’.

It was  three years ago to the day, of the posting of the charity receipts for Another Fundraiser, that Mina Jun of MinaJunk offered her full perm skins to the grid for modification, to benefit Red Cross.   The grid has changed a lot in 3 years.  We now have tatoo layers, allowing avatars to swap out tattoos, and makeups.  Another Fundraiser II is back to help victims of the March 11th 2011 Earthquake, and Tsunami by asking residents to try their hand again at modding skins.

Please read for information about Another Fundraiser II.

A collection of various tutorials that might answer some questions about working in Photoshop/gimp with layered files.  You can do this, it’s easy, just play around, emulate some tutorials, and see what happens….trust me anything you do will be better than my old Another Fundraiser skin mods. ;P   Using Mina Jun’s skins, Eloh Eliot’s layers, and Sezmra Svarog’s template, I am sure you can put together something someone will like.  Give it a try!

Eloh Eliot’s Another Blog
Eloh Eliot’s Skin Files (Worth looking through the layers to see the work involved.)
Tutorials by Eloh Eliot
Vint Falken’s Tutorials
Facial Hair Tutorial
Link to various Second Life Skin Tutorials (youtube)

There is a lot of information out there for you, hunt for it.  I suggest using your search browser to find skin resources.  Please double-check copy rights, licensing, and distribution information before using.  Just cause it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s free.

Tutorial – Lightening A Dark Photo

I initially did this for the Second Life Stock Images group, after Sasy told me my photos were kinda dark.  I freely admit this, as I like darker photos.  Probably cause I am prone to migraines, and sensitive to light.  Unfortunately I live in tropical Florida, when my favorite weather is anything foggy, and overcast, and preferably without the sun.  So I made what I think will be an easy to follow beginners tutorial for how to lighten a photo effectively without ruining it.  This isn’t rocket science, its way super easy.  I have included at the end, where to look for these settings in Photoshop, Picasa, and Gimp.

Photoshop, Picasa, and Gimp are three of the most used photo-editing software programs being used by Second Life residents currently I bet.  If you are unfamiliar with these you probably don’t have Photoshop.  It costs more than your average software, so if you’re interested and know you will use it, I recommend it.  For those looking for an alternative to Photoshop, with the bells and whistles without the price, Gimp is your software.  It’s FREE!  It’s very close to the layout of Photoshop, so you can even watch Photoshop tutorials, and then go into Gimp and hunt around until you find the settings to emulate the tutorial.  It has the layers you need to work with Second Life templates for skin, and clothing creation.  Picasa is a well-known program for photo editing.  I haven’t played around with it much, as I have had Photoshop, and Illustrator for years.

Downloads:
Photoshop (free 30 day trial)
Gimp (free)
Picasa (free)

I am going to insert a cut on my blog here. The tutorial is just a photo with examples of effects/settings, and then where to find them in each of the programs.  It’s a very large photo, and I don’t want it to mess up the feeds Virtually Dressed are syndicated on.  So click-through for more if you don’t see it.  Check it out very large on the Second Life Stock Images group on Flickrs discussion.  Or 😀 Scroll down.

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